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A Character Analysis of Fagin from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

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“Bad words don’t exist, but words with bad intentions behind” – Roberto Fontanarrosa

The characters, plot, setting, action, and content are all important elements of a drama play. There are characters that dominate and make every single drama, play, film or any form of literature stand out and whom with their presence is why there is a conflict in every story. In the play Oliver Twist, Dickens kept the character traits the same although he portrayed them in different ways.

Fagin is one of the important characters in Oliver Twist, he, in fact, is the antagonist of the story. as he had a huge impact on the whole story. When Fagin made his first appearance in Oliver Twist, he was stereotyped as a guy with good intentions. However, later on, the reader finds out that he is completely the opposite. It seems like Dickens wanted Fagin to look just as ugly on the outside like he is from the inside. Fagin is a criminal whose goal is to train young boys and orphans to steal or to pick-pockets for him. There is a couple of events in the play that prove to what extent Fagin is bad and what his main goal is behind having a relationship with Oliver.

The first time Fagin appeared in the play was when Oliver was brought to him with the artful dodger. Fagin had a bad habit of doing something for self-pleasures that could have harmed others who are the orphans. Fagin used the young, orphans as an advantage; he trains them to become pickpockets and tries to steal valuable things such as watches, handkerchiefs and many more. This can be clearly shown when Fagin said to Oliver at the end of scene 3 “time for bed. Tomorrow is a working day!!” Adding to Oliver’s young age Fagin has a bad sense of arrogance and he thinks he’s clever by controlling the boys to pickpocket and get him what he wants. An evidence of this is when Fagin said to dodger “I could use him well…”, unfortunately, the little ones think that it’s a game they’re playing and they do not know how much of a crime they are committing.

We can also see that Fagin is inconsiderate by making the young orphans do the work for him as he puts them in an embarrassing situation when they try to steal and get caught. This is clearly shown when Mr. Brownlow caught Oliver trying to pick something from his pocket. Dickens also shows that Fagin is a hypocrite by killing one of the members in his “gang” that happens to be Nancy. Nancy started to help Oliver and make him avoid following Fagin and this results in her death. The character of Fagin is presented in many ways. However, at the beginning of scene 3, it is evidently and clearly shown that Fagin is double-sided and deceitful. “You brought us a new one!” said Fagin mysteriously while in front of the kids he acts considerate. A good example of this is when he keeps saying “my dear” as well as when he said “you’re my special lads” There is nothing common when relating Fagin’s personality to my social and personal values. Fagin is considered the worst character in the play, the things he does is not what people in my society are known for. Speaking away from religion, it is not satisfying to do such things. Not just it doesn’t feel right but it also involves putting other people in a bad-looking situation.

I personally think that even if Fagin was doing something right and acceptable for a living, he should depend on his self. In my opinion, I feel like if someone does something by his/her self, they will value it more than when someone else is doing it for you.

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A Character Analysis Of Fagin From Oliver Twist By Charles Dickens. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
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